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Why a new federal decision will aid New York’s booming hemp industry

A potential obstacle blocking development of the industrial hemp industry was removed Tuesday when banking regulators confirmed the legitimate legal status of low-THC cannabis.

The move comes almost a year after Congress formally lifted stringent controls on the non-psychoactive variant of the hemp plant.

“This is really a big and important first step,” said Kaelan Castetter, chief executive of CSG Hemp, a Binghamton-based processor.

Four federal agencies, in conjunction with the state bank regulators, issued a statement Tuesday that clarified the legal status of hemp growth and production under the Bank Secrecy Act for banks providing services to hemp-related businesses.

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